Beagles are a great breed if you want an excellent family dog and an active companion. They were bred to perform a specific task, and you will need to assign them a job if you want to live peacefully with your pup.
Jobs can help ward off troublesome behavior like excessive baying and destructive chewing.
Beagles can be great at many types of jobs, but they were bred for scent work and hunting. These hound dogs can excel with jobs like carrying a pack, learning basic obedience, running an agility course, or playing flyball. They can benefit from mental stimulation as well as physical exercise.
If you have been wondering what to do with your Beagle, this guide can certainly help!
Do Beagles Need a Job?
If you want to incorporate a Beagle into your family, it helps to know their history and what they were bred for.
These hound dogs were originally bred to be great hunting dogs, particularly when it came to tracking small animals through scenting. They have strong noses that guide them along a particular trail until they eventually hit their mark.
Beagle owners often find that their dogs are happiest when sniffing away on a trail, even if they do not use their dogs for hunting. The desire to track is deeply ingrained in your canine, and this can be quite a hard habit to break.
This breed is designed to be active. You will need to exercise them for at least an hour a day to keep them healthy and happy.
Dogs like Beagles who do not get their daily exercise can develop terrible habits like destructive chewing, constant baying, and other signs associated with boredom. They need exercise and a job to do.
While they can be a bit stubborn and hard to train, they are also extremely loyal dogs. They tend to bond strongly with their owners and primary caregivers.
Like many breeds, they tend to be one-person dogs and attach firmly to the person who spends the most time with them.
However, this should not deter you from getting this breed as they can still make excellent family pets. Your Beagle is likely to be very friendly with kids, other dogs, and even strangers. As a result of their friendly demeanor, this breed does not typically make a great guard dog.
What are Beagles Good For? What Were they Bred For?
Beagles were originally bred to hunt small game such as rabbits. They are still great hunting dogs, no matter what type of game you are seeking.
Some say that Beagles are just as effective at hunting rabbits as they are at hunting jackals and wild pigs. They are great pack animals, but they are also happy to head out with you solo. Beagles enjoy a little one-on-one time every once in a while.
While hunting is in their blood, they still make excellent family dogs. Just keep in mind that their background in hunting means they will need to stay active.
This breed is not a couch potato by any means. They need lots of physical and mental stimulation to keep them well-behaved in your home.
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20 Stumlating Jobs and Activities for Your Beagle
If you are ready to put your Beagle to work and curb their destructive or annoying behaviors, here are twenty great activities that your pup will love.
Around the House
1. Nose Work
Beagles were bred to sniff out game on the trail, so it makes sense that you might train them to participate in nose work. You can start by teaching them to sniff out delicious treats.
Place them in one room while you go hide some smelly treats in another room. When you’re done, release your Beagle and watch as he scrambles to find what you hid.
Once he gets good at this game, you can teach him to track scents like birch and clove. They can even participate in competitions for this kind of game.
2. Find It
Does your dog know the names of all his toys? If not, this is a good time to teach him. You can teach your Beagle to retrieve items for you using a command like “find it.”
Think about things that would be helpful for you such as bringing you his leash, fetching his tennis ball, or bringing in the newspaper in the mornings.
3. Clean Up Toys
Beagles adore their toys and often leave them scattered around the house. This is a more advanced command to teach as it involves multiple steps, but you can teach them to tidy up their things.
Ask your dog to retrieve his toys and then reward him for releasing them into the toy bin. Make sure to reward him handsomely each time a toy is dropped into the bin.
This will teach him that cleaning up is a good thing!
4. Basic Training
Unfortunately, Beagles can be quite stubborn and challenging to train. However, regular work on obedience skills can be great for their brain and your bond.
If you struggle to teach your Beagle how to do anything beyond sit, consider enrolling in an obedience class at your local pet store.
This gives your pup a chance to socialize with others and gives you the tools you need to give your Beagle a job at home.
Beagles love a good game of tug, but you can make the game even more challenging. Sit on a towel on a hard surface floor before picking up the rope. As your dog tugs hard, you will start to slide across the floor which will give her a great workout!
6. Messy Meals
If you want to put your Beagle’s nose to work, try scattering their food out on the floor instead of directly in their bowl. They will have to use that strong sniffer to seek out all of the pieces. Only do this if you feed your dog dry kibble. Otherwise, it will make too much of a mess for this to be a worthwhile task.
7. Hide and Seek
If you have a safe place where your dog can be left off-leash, your Beagle will love a rousing game of hide and seek. Put your dog in a stay or wait until they are distracted by something.
Run and hide behind a tree or a bush and wait for your dog to come looking for you. You can always call their name to get their attention if they don’t look right away.
8. Chase and Herding
Take your pup to the park and let them do what they do best – chase wild animals. Look for large packs of Canadian geese, squirrels, or whatever else might catch your Beagle’s attention.
Release them on a long leash so that you have control over them when it is time to go home. Beagles might get too into the game and run away out of excitement if left off-leash.
9. Puppy in the Middle
When you have a large area like at the park, arrange your family members in a large circle. Invite your Beagle to the center of the circle and have everyone take turns calling the dog to them. Each person should be sure to reward the dog handsomely for coming with treats and praise. As an added bonus, this also strengthens your dog’s recall.
Your Beagle may not be big enough to pull you on a bicycle, but they probably have the energy and stamina to pull you on skates. Strap on those old inline skates and head to the park. Allow your Beagle to lead the way while you catch up!
11. Carry My Pack
A long walk could be just what your Beagle needs, but you can up the ante by having them carry your things. Start with just the empty pack to get them used to the idea. Then, you can add light items like your keys and phone. Eventually, you can work up to having them carry your water bottle and snacks too!
Agility is a great activity that you can set up in your backyard. Not only will it get your dog’s brain moving, but it will also get rid of some of their excess energy. Set up a teeter, some tunnels, a couple of hurdles, and weave poles to get started.
Your Beagle was bred to hunt, so why not let them do it? Hunting utilizes everything your Beagle loves: their nose, their body, and their brain. This is a great job that your Beagle will thoroughly enjoy.
Flyball is an excellent sport to get your Beagle involved in. This relay race is great if you have more than one dog who needs a job.
Your dog will run down the obstacle course, leaping over hurdles, to retrieve a ball at the end. They will return back to you and the next dog will run their portion of the course. Some basic obedience commands are necessary such as sit and stay as well as a basic ability to retrieve a ball.
Water Activities for your Beagle
15. Save Me
Wade out into the shallow water and have a seat on the ground. Entice your Beagle to come close to you using their favorite tug toy. Once they grab hold, encourage them to pull you through the water to the shore. Your weight will be offset by the water, making it possible for your dog to “save” you.
16. Fetch in the Waves
If you really want to give your pup a workout, play fetch in the waves. Toss a floating toy out into the water a little bit deeper each time until your Beagle has to actually swim to get to it. Don’t forget to put a life vest on them!
Jobs Around Town for your Beagle
17. Therapy Work
If your dog loves people as most Beagles do, teach them basic obedience and then sign them up to be a therapy dog. They can visit schools, nursing homes, and hospitals to bring a smile to people everywhere. This is a great job for dogs who have a calm demeanor.
18. Long Walks
Beagles love to follow the scents that surround them. If you really want to work them, try taking a long walk and asking them to heel the entire time.
This will actively tire out her brain because she will have to be paying close attention to you instead of exploring the whole time. Every once in a while, you can give her a quick break to allow her to sniff around before asking her to come back to a heel again.
Mental Stimulation Activities for your Beagle
19. Puzzle Toys
Giving your Beagle a job to do doesn’t always require a lot of work on your part. Puzzle toys can be a great way to get the gears turning in their mind. They will be so focused on the scent of yummy treats in the puzzle toy that they will forget about chewing and baying in your absence.
Consider stuffing a Kong ball with frozen peanut butter, cream cheese, or spray cheese to keep their nose, brain, and body busy for a little while.
20. Uncover Me
Sometimes, you might want to teach your pup to use their brain to get out of certain situations. Throw a big blanket over your dog and watch her try to figure out a way out of it.
You can do this with throw blankets or sheets. You can even toss a cardboard box her way and see how long it takes her to escape!
Finding the Right Job for Your Beagle
Your Beagle can benefit both mentally and physically from having a job to do. Experiment to see which of these tasks they enjoy the most. You might even want to switch it up from day to day so that your canine never knows what to expect!
Is it okay to leave Beagles home alone?
Adult Beagles can be left alone for short periods of time usually ranging from four to six hours. Puppies should never be left alone for more than two hours at a time. If you leave your Beagle alone for too long, they may become destructive or noisy.
Are Beagles good indoor dogs?
As long as your Beagle has a job to do and plenty of exercise, they can be great indoor dogs. If you plan to leave your Beagle indoors, you need to ensure that they get plenty of daily exercise and mental stimulation.
Is it better to have one or two Beagles?
If it is possible, it is better to have two Beagles. These dogs tend to be quite social and would enjoy the company of another canine. They can get along well with other Beagles as well as other dog breeds if they are socialized well as puppies.
Do Beagles prefer one person?
Beagles are very social dogs, and they truly love people. As friendly as your Beagle may be, they still tend to prefer one person. They are accustomed to hunting and training with one individual and their bond will always be strongest with that person.